At the age of 22, Nils Jansons is riding his own pro boot, has his own pro wheel, won Winterclash and plenty of other major competitions and is a role model to a whole generation of bladers. In 2014 he had to deal with a knee surgery and therewith take a step back from blading, but instead of getting depressed he continued spreading positive vibes on his social media channels, started to teach kids in the local blading school and prepared himself to come back stronger than ever. It seems like there is nothing that can take him down and we wanted to hear a bit more about the current life of the positive young man from Latvia.
Interview: Johannes Jacobi
Photos: Kaspars Alksnis
Hey Nils, where are you right now and what did you do before you started answering my questions?
Hey. I’m in a very nice cafe right now, and before I was giving lessons at the local blading school.
In July last year you got hurt, had to go through an ACL and Meniscus Surgery and you just recently started to get back on your skates again. How long did you not skate in total and how did the whole recovery process look like?
Totally around 6 months. After the surgery I started with physiotherapy the next day and since then it’s been daily exercises. 3 months after the surgery I started going to the gym for more strengthening exercises. Now I will go to a new coach for more training for my knee. I’m feeling stronger than ever and I’m taking best care of myself.
How did you deal with it mentally? I´m guessing you are quite an active person and not someone chilling at home all the time?
I looked at it as a chance for something else. I had much time to heal, read inspiring books and think about my place in this universe. It’s been great times and I’m just more aware of the body I’m living in. As soon as I could start walking I just went for walks everyday. I love using my legs more than ever in any possible way. I enjoy walking up stairs very much.
Do you have any other hobbies that you could do during that time? How did a normal day look like?
The first couple of weeks were pretty boring. Much lying on the sofa with a book and movie, music and some xbox action. Picked up the guitar some times, but as soon as I could get more active I started going around just exploring same old places with a fresh perspective. I also started to teach at the blading school and collected ideas for the future.
Are you going to school or do you have a job next to blading?
No. I run the blading school with over 30 kids which is not really a job. And I’m thinking of studying as well, but not sure yet.
Did that time-out make you think about your future without blading? Any dream job in the plans?
No clear vision yet, but yes I did have lot of time to think where I could be in 20 years. Can’t tell exactly what it would be, but something that would help to make this planet a better and more joyful place and hopefully connected with rollerblading.
Maybe coach or trainer… But you know I will use the opportunities that come my way and I’m sure it will lead me to where I need to be.
Your first ever pro skate got released exactly a year ago. Now your second skate is on the way. How does it feel, are you used to it already? You quite recently posted something about Haffey riding with you skate, that’s crazy, isn’t it?
Yes, It’s crazy. Words can’t say what it means to me. I’m thankful to everyone who helped me to get to this point. It gives me pure happiness seeing people skate my Remz all around the world.
What are the changes to the first skate and how much have you been involved?
I’ve been involved as much as I wanted to be. It has new skin materials which are much stronger, new eyelets, a completely new Remz liner which is higher than usual Remz liner. Pretty much the good old freedom of feet concept just with some good and noticeable improvements. For me it’s the most comfortable skate ever.
BHC also just announced your pro wheel. Is it your first official pro wheel and if so, why did it take so long?
Yes, BHC has been my only wheel sponsor for quite a while now and my first official pro wheel got announced, which I’m super stoked about. It came at the right time and with improved materials. I had to earn it and now it’s here.
You were also part of the Pazust Latgalē tour. Did that happen before you got hurt? How was the tour and do you have a funny or crazy story to tell?
Yes, that was beginning of summer. One of the most amazing experiences in our own homeland ever. Great people, great weather, blading and nature. You just need to see it. Sellfy.com/pazustlatgale.
One thing that pops up is: We stopped in the middle of nowhere next to an electro fence with many sheeps inside, then we asked the owner if we could run around with the sheeps, he said- yes alright. I jumped over the electro fence, my buddy got stuck jumping over, fell on his face and broke the fence little bit. Then we started to run around with them, which was too much fun haha. At some point I made them run to the place where electro fence was bit broken (and lower then it should have been), one sheep jumped over and all the other 25 did the same so they were free and run away. Haha, at the end we gave a 2 liter beer to the owner, he got his sheeps back and we drove off with huge smiles on our faces.
The movie got premiered in sold out theaters. How was it being a part of all that and how did the people react to the movie?
We got so much good feedback, which is amazing. I’m glad we could make this happen and leave so many people inspired to catch every moment of life, and not waste time doing what you hate doing. Even people who weren’t a part of the actionsports industry found it very entertaining and positive. Now we’ve been to schools as well to show it to kids and teachers and talk about our lifestyle. I think it something that leaves a great and positive effect.
You are back on your skates now. Are you on 100% already and what are your plans now? Video edits, tours, contests?
I’m back skating yes. Not skating at the fullest yet, but I’m skating and exercising daily. Soon you should see new videos of me skating. Got a couple good projects planned this year, as well some camps with kids, and of course going to contests. I got plans.
Did the injury change the way you skate?
For sure in some way it did, yes. I’m better aware of my actions. I can feel every detail of the trick better now. I used to just throw tricks, now I think more of what I want to do and how exactly I want it to look. Also I can feel my abilities and body better. I guess more focus on details and quality now.
All right, one last question: The Nils Jansons Invite is going down at Ghetto Games again. Please tell our readers why one should book a flight to Latvia and join the event? What’s different to other events and is there any changes to last year?
It’s in Latvia, which is the place to visit. It’s the small seaside city and the people that make every year memorable. And always the high-level blading contest. Maybe some changes in the contest format and some new park obstacles. Good times guaranteed. All great little things combined make this weekend a great one!
Thanks a lot Nils. Any shout outs?
Thank you Jojo and Be-Mag for the interview, thank you dad, mom, brother, sister, grandma, all my homies and all my sponsors: Hedonskate, Remz, BHC, Ground Control, everyone who bought my skates and just everyone who rollerblades. Much love and have a nice day everybody.
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